NBA players are WNBA fans, but there are still plenty of seats available

Amber Anderson | Staff Writer

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Flickr User  City of Indianapolis | Mayor’s Office

Although this WNBA season has attracted the viewership of many NBA players, it has not yet attracted many fans to do the same.

According to Sports Are From Venus, “This year, the Mercury and the Sparks are the only two WNBA teams averaging more than 10,000 fans per game, with average attendance falling to a meager 7,716 fans per matchup.”

The NBA averages 17,857 fans per game and nearly 22 million per season – and that doesn’t even count the number who watch on television and the internet.

“The NBA draws more emotion out of the crowd and creates a higher dynamic because watching the athleticism of people jumping 30-plus inches in the air with another man is very interesting,” said Jamari Gordon, a Hampton University first-year biology pre-med major.

Some students just are not intrigued by the women’s game.

“I don’t watch WNBA games,” HU first-year business major Kyle Robinson said. “I don’t have anything against it, I just never had the thought of, ‘Oh, the girls’ basketball game is on! Let me go watch.’”

In April 2017, Minnesota Lynx player Maya Moore wrote an essay for The Players’ Tribune titled “(In)visibility.” She wrote about the hard work and dedication she has put in to reach the height of success she is at today, and how unfortunately it goes unnoticed.

Moore’s open letter is a true reflection of how WNBA athletes continuously work just as hard as their male counterparts, but still get paid less and don’t receive even half of the attention they do from fans.

Although the WNBA may not receive the attention needed from fans filling up arena seats every game night, the media is making an effort to give the WNBA more attention.

In April, the WNBA formed a multi-year partnership with CBS Sports Network. Through this deal, 40 live, prime-time and weekend games are being shown on the network.

The WNBA struck the partnership in hopes to make the league more visible to fans across the globe. According to Sports are from Venus, there was a “64 percent rise in TV ratings from last year, with the average viewership per game standing at 413,000 fans.”

The league just needs more viewers inside WNBA arenas.

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